COVID-19 FAQs for Study Abroad Students
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Updated Wednesday 31 March 2021

These Frequently Asked Questions are written for Study Abroad students who will commence their studies at UCD in September 2021, at the start of the 2021/22 academic year.

We will update this page as more information becomes available, so please check back regularly.

If you have any immediate concerns or need assistance, please contact us at

Arrival in Ireland

Please check the Irish government website for the most up-to-date information in relation to travelling to Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes information on the following topics:

  1. What you have to do before you arrive into Ireland from abroad
  2. What to do if you travel to Ireland from high risk designated countries
  3. Passenger Locator Form
  4. Quarantine requirements
  5. Requirement for a pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR test

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, UCD continues to operate in line with public health guidelines along with sectoral responses to supporting international students within Higher Education. 

We will provide guidance and support to incoming international students in relation to airport arrival, immigration procedures, transport, accommodation, quarantine requirements, private facilities for COVID-19 testing, and how to access student support services if required. 

We intend to provide specific details by July, noting that this advice will depend on the public health situation at that time. Updates will be made via this FAQ section and on the UCD Global Orientation web-page.

Yes, it is important that you communicate your arrival details to UCD once your travel itinerary is confirmed. An online arrival form will be available through this FAQ section by July 2021.

Current public health advice from the Irish Government (dated 30 March 2021) states the following: 

"If you are arriving into Ireland (except if your journey originates in Northern Ireland) - you must have a negative/‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival in Ireland.

If you come to Ireland without a negative or 'not detected' PCR test, you must complete a 14-day mandatory quarantine in a hotel.

You will be asked to show evidence of this negative or 'not detected' result before boarding the airplane or ferry from the country you are travelling from and will be denied boarding if you cannot produce such evidence. Once you arrive in Ireland - you have to provide this evidence to Irish immigration officers.

You should retain the written confirmation of your test result for at least 14 days.”

Currently, if you are travelling to Ireland from or through a country which is on the government list of high-risk countries, you are required to pre-book accommodation in a designated quarantine facility, and to pre-pay for your stay. This mandatory hotel quarantine arrangement is managed by the State and is a legal requirement. This requirement may change over the coming months and countries may be added or removed from this list, therefore we advise that you monitor the government website regularly.

If you are travelling from or through a country which is not on the list of high-risk countries, you are still required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival; however this does not have to be at a designated quarantine facility managed by the State. Details about on-campus accommodation options will be published shortly on the UCD Residences website and you can also find information about off-campus options through the UCD Accommodation Pad website. Incoming UCD Study Abroad students will receive instructions via email on how to book on campus accommodation on the accommodation portal.

UCD recommends that all international students have the following documents in your hand luggage when you arrive in Ireland and are ready to present them at Immigration Control:

  • Passport (with your valid entry visa if you require one)
  • UCD Offer Letter or Certificate of Attendance (provided by your study abroad programme manager)
  • INIS Supplementary Letter (available via your SIS Web account)
  • Accommodation details (quarantine hotel booking confirmation if coming from a high risk country, or accommodation details for where you will be quarantining for 14 days if you are coming from a country not on the high risk list)
  • Prior to travel, please complete the online Irish Government COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. Please note that failure to complete the form could result in the issuing of penalties.
  • Written confirmation of your COVID-19 test results

In addition, non-EU students should have the following additional documents to hand:

  • Evidence of private medical health insurance with detailed coverage information
  • Evidence of tuition fees paid, scholarship or sponsorship details or US Financial Aid (if applicable)
  • Evidence that you have access to at least €3,000

All documents should be originals. Further information about immigration procedures is available here.

Starting my Studies in UCD

The term dates for 2021/22 are available here. These dates are subject to change depending on the public health situation.

14 day quarantine periods should be taken into consideration when planning travel to Ireland.

There are many ways that you can connect with UCD prior to arrival, some of which are listed below:

Many UCD academics are undertaking world-leading research on public health and our pandemic response protocols are founded on the latest science and expertise.

We have taken care to make our campus safe, putting appropriate social distancing and new cleaning measures in place.  You can find all the details of the measures we’ve been taking in our Short Guide for Students Coming to Campus.

Advice for Prospective Study Abroad Students

Autumn trimester: May 1st

Spring trimester: October 25th

All new study abroad applications for study at UCD are treated as normal, irrespective of where you are from or currently reside. We are monitoring the situation closely and will update these FAQs as more information becomes available. Our advice is that you check back with us regularly for the latest advice and guidance. You can also contact for further assistance. 

Yes, if you are approved by your home university or provider– please still apply as the situation in all countries is likely to change over the next few months. We will continue to welcome applications from students approved by their home university or provider to take part in UCD’s study abroad programme.

If your application is successful, we will be in touch with you about the next steps leading up to registration. We will continue to follow public health guidelines and will be sure to notify any affected applicants should alternative arrangements apply.

We aim to process online applications to all Study Abroad Programmes within a two week timeframe (10 working days). The quick turnaround in decisions will allow applicants to plan accordingly for their semester abroad. If you have submitted an online application and have not received a decision within two weeks, please contact

Your application is important to us, and we are continuing to assess all applications as normal. If you are concerned about how COVID-19 may affect your plans to study at UCD once you have received a decision from us, please read the advice being shared with current students on campus.

We are aware that delays may be unavoidable for you in providing the documentation needed to support your application. We aim to be as flexible as possible. If you require extra time to gather requested documentation, such as academic transcripts, please reach out to so that we are aware of any delays.

If you contract COVID-19 before you are due to travel to Ireland for the start of your course, you should not travel, and should follow all local health advice. You should wait for clear medical advice that you are no longer contagious before you consider travelling.

You should contact us at and inform us of your situation. 

There will be no financial implications for you from UCD if you decide to withdraw from the Study Abroad Programme you are enrolled in, up until the start of the trimester teaching term.

We are continuing to assess new Study Abroad applications and are preparing to welcome our new students. If you think that you can no longer commence your studies, please contact your home university or provider and your UCD Study Abroad Programme Managers at



The health, welfare and safety of our students and staff is our primary concern currently. We want to reassure you that UCD is providing a solid framework of support for students and staff. We have been providing regular updates to the UCD community about our local response to COVID-19, based on the expert advice of Irish Government agencies. As Ireland's Global University, UCD researchers are contributing their academic expertise, specifically through membership of two global networks which are rapidly coordinating clinical research into new cases of COVID-19:

  • UCD is a member of the Global Virus Network, which coordinates laboratory research into rapid diagnostics for new emerging infections.
  • UCD also leads on an international Critical Care Network that conducts research into emerging infections.

Beyond these networks, one of UCD's leading medical researchers, Dr Cillian De Gascun, has been appointed to chair the expert advisory group to provide advice on COVID-19 to the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) and the National Public Health Emergency Team. Dr De Gascun is laboratory director at the UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory. Elsewhere on campus, members of the university community are volunteering at COVID-19 contact tracing call centres. You can also read more about this call centre in this news article